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Join a yoga retreat in Laos that promises total immersion into yoga asana (posture), alignment, and philosophy. At the end of the retreat program, you will leave with more confidence, greater knowledge, and an understanding of how to practice in a way that is unique to your own body and life experiences. Gain the tools to build a solid self-practice and delve into meditation, back bending, balance, pranayama, and yoga philosophy. The program will encourage you to uncover your own truth and to gain self-awareness in order to help you build a healthy connection to the world around you.
The retreat is held at the Mandala Ou Resort, a premier bungalow resort that is situated high on the banks of the scenic and tranquil Nam Ou river, offering spectacular sunset views over the virgin rainforest and karst limestone mountains of Nong Khiaw.
The resort offers 10 spacious clean and comfortable detached bungalows, mixing traditional Lao styles with all modern conveniences you can expect from a home away from your home. The custom-built yoga shala sits directly on the banks of the Nam Ou River, harnessing the energy of life.
You can choose from fountain bungalows and riverside bungalows. There are only two bungalows with twin beds (one fountain bungalow and one riverside bungalow). All other bungalows have double beds.
If you are traveling as a pair and would like to share a bungalow, but do not want to share a bed, fountain bungalows with double beds can also accommodate an extra twin-sized bed for an extra fee per night. Luang Prabang Yoga will try to accommodate your request for single or double occupancy, but this will depend on the availability of the room as well.
In the construction of the raised yoga shala, Mandala Ou worked closely with the teachers at Luang Prabang Yoga to create a space that will fully support your yoga practice. Mandala Ou is also the only resort in Nong Khiaw to offer pool and sauna facilities, a complement to your yoga practice.
The goal of this retreat is to give you as much information as possible, in an easy to understand format, while keeping the activities as fun as possible, and making sure you still have time to relax, nurture and explore the surrounding areas. This program is suitable for all levels.
Your yoga program will include meditation, pranayama, Vinyasa yoga, and yoga Nidra, giving you the benefit of a full sadhana or spiritual practice. The program will encourage you to uncover your own truth and to gain self-awareness. Through this sense of connectedness, you will find compassion for others, and through this compassion, you will revive the human experience.
All levels of experience are welcomed, whether you are a beginner or a seasoned practitioner. If you have any injuries or health concerns, modifications will be made for you to make your practice relevant to your body. The small group setting will ensure that individual needs are met.
The meditation technique you will use will focus primarily on breath awareness. You will practice using the breath as an anchor for your focus during your practice and during meditation. You will use simple techniques that you can take home with you and perhaps incorporate into your daily lives.
Pranayama is a Sanskrit word that means "extension of the breath" or "extension of the life force." In simple terms, pranayama is the art of breath control. Breathing is the essence of living, yet most people are not aware of how they breathe. You will cover various breathing techniques that will help you live a healthier life.
Vinyasa yoga or Vinyasa flow is also known as "breathe synchronized movement" or "an intelligent sequencing of postures." You will flow from one posture to the next in the most natural sequence while synchronizing breath and movement. Vinyasa yoga is dynamic, yet the sequence can be modified to suit the needs of the practitioner.
Yoga Nidra is also known as "yogic sleep." It is a guided relaxation that leaves you in a state of conscious awareness of your deep sleep. You will be guided through the different parts of your body, different sensations and visualizations to calm the brain and the nervous system.
Nong Khiaw is a sleepy village, nestled in the highlands of Northern Laos. Life in Nong Khiaw takes place primarily along the banks of the Nam Ou River. A main street and bridge run through the center of town, connecting the two sides. Nong Khiaw is easily accessible by road and river.
Travel by road to Nong Khiaw from Luang Prabang takes approximately three hours, although many travelers opt for the longer, six-hour boat ride, as the views along the river are spectacular. Ultimately, Nong Khiaw's draw is its impressive landscape. The Nam Ou River is flanked on both sides by rolling hills and stone massifs. The river cuts through the mountains, opening spectacular views into the distance. It's a destination not to be missed.
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The retreat includes daily buffet organic breakfasts and dinners.
From Nong Khiaw, day trips to Hmong villages, rock climbing, and visits to caves and waterfalls can be arranged, but the village is best experienced at leisure.
You will be flying into Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ).
Lao Airlines flies between Luang Prabang and Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Siem Reap. Flights to Vientiane are also available from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Da Nang, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Kunming, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Singapore. From Vientiane you can get a connecting flight to Luang Prabang.
Bangkok Airways has connecting flights between Bangkok and Luang Prabang.
Vietnam Airlines has connecting flights between Hanoi and Luang Prabang.
Buses are available from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang, but expect a long and uncomfortable ride as roads are unsealed part of the way. If you're coming from Vientiane, overnight and day buses are also available (approximately 10 hours) and the view is spectacular.
From Luang Prabang, Nong Khiaw is easily accessible by road from Luang Prabang. Nong Khiaw is approximately 150 kilometers from Luang Prabang and minibuses run regularly between the two. Minibus tickets can be purchased from various travel agencies in Luang Prabang. Minibuses depart Luang Prabang at 09:00, 11:00 and 13:00. The journey takes approximately three hours. Luang Prabang Yoga recommends that you arrive in Luang Prabang before the retreat date so that you can arrange your transportation with a travel agency the day before you leave for Nong Khiaw.
If you are traveling either from Northern Thailand or Northern Laos, you can travel to Nong Khiaw either by public or VIP buses. Depending on the route, you may have to stop in Pak Mong and hire a tuk-tuk to take you the rest of the way to Nong Khiaw.
If you are traveling by road and river from Vietnam, regular buses run from Hanoi to Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam. From there, you can connect by bus to Mueng Khua in Laos. From Mueng Khua to Nong Khiaw it is a lovely 6-hour boat ride. When planning your trip, please be sure to arrive in time for the introductions and opening ceremony on the first day.
Private minibus transfer back to Luang Prabang will be arranged with the resort. If you are traveling on from Nong Khiaw to another destination, Luang Prabang Yoga will advise you on the best way to arrange your onward travel.
From the northern border with Thailand, several boat options are available including a slow boat from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang (two days with overnight in Pak Beng) or the speedboat (seven hours). For a more comfortable trip, opt for the Luang Say riverboat, departing from Huang Xai to Luang Prabang, which takes two days with an overnight at the Luang Say Lodge in Pak Beng. The price of the Luang Say Riverboat trip includes meals and overnight accommodation in Pak Beng.